Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When Life Gives you Lemons ...

I am well on my way with my last challenge assignment.  The task was to make a simple dress.  Despite having meetings and back to school shopping and starting Monkey Girl on her project, I have managed to get a dress cut out.  This is where the lemons come in.

As I have a stash of Sophia knits, I wanted to get through those for easy fall sewing projects.  That was why they were bought after all (almost 2 years ago, sigh!).  I chose a simple T shirt type dress from Hot Patterns.  Yes, I LOVE Trudy's designs.  Not all of them are to my personal taste, but she manages to get current trends as well as the classics into her line.  The other main reason is that her sloper is NOT Twiggy or a look alike.  Her slopers are built on her.  She has a shape that is full figured, has hips and a real life bustline!  So, there is not much fitting in her lines for somebody like me.  So, when I want an easy project I usually pick one ofher patterns.

The pattern is a simple polo style shirt dress with a rugby style hidden button front placket.  Easy peasy, right?  Warning: here be lemons... As Trudy assumes a level of sewing knowledge and experience, her instructions are very basic.  Usually I do not have a problem with this as I have enough time behind my machine that I can figure most things out or research them online if need be.  That being said, I have never done a hidden button placket on a center front application that wasn't a shirt.  So, a new skill, I thought.  I read the instructions briefly and didn't see anything that surprised me and visually I thought I had it made.  Then I cut it out and started to assemble.   This is where things started to go sour.  The pattern calls for you to cut the CF section BEFORE you apply the placket and then flip and stitch.  The placket is two pieces and it just didn't lie right.  (more details when the project is finished when I do the full review).  So, being short on patience and being long on fabric, I cut out a second front piece and then tried to fashion my own placket based on David P. Coffin's CF Placket design, but incorporatingt a hidden placket.  The mock up of the ploacket went great, but once it was sewn into the second bodice front, there was too much fabric for it to lie flat.  I had done something wrong again.  By this time, the CF had been cut to allow the placket insertion and I was out of fabric for a new front.

This is where two nights sleep and many a thought about how I REALLY wanted that dress and how I did NOT want to start completely over led to the lemonade.  The front bodice is a single piece.  I am using a solid colour.  Can I remove the aggravating CF opening portion and insert a coord colour piece to add a design element?  I searched the stash and found a basic black that obviusly will go with the basic dark blue of the dress.  Then I took some chalk and started to draw lines from the shoulder, extending down around the horrible part.  Then I took some black SEAMS GREAT and pinned it in place to get a feel for the lines.  Liking what I saw, I grabbes the black and started to pin a length down.  The way it was lying, it had a CF cowl shape to it.  I kind of like it.  I added the self belt to the dress form and am now thinking overnight about it.  I always wanted to try draping .... maybe this is an opportunity to ease myself in by draping the cowl!  So, I left it pinned for now and will think on it some more.  I also want to check out some of the prints I have in the stash.  This might be a great way to incorporate some shorter lengths of woven prints to give a "fooler" type look to it.  If I have enough, I may even add a faux cuff to the 3/4 length sleeve.

I know there are no pics, but I want to leavethis up to your imaginations!  I have taken some, but will leave them for the final pattern review.  There is only one review online that I have found, so I am going to post mine when the dress is complete.  That reviewer also had some problems with the placket, but she managed to pull it off.  So, just as a teaser, here is the pattern:  HP 1013 Plain and Simple Iconic Shirtdress and here is the link to that review:Heatherrique Review on Pattern Review.com.

Stay tuned ... I love a challenge and I do have the challenge deadline, plus one more evening meeting and Dino Boy still needs new jeans and sneakers for his first year in Junior High and we are going away for the long weekend.  ThinK I can pull it off AND get Monkey Girl's jean jacket cut out?  Not unless I live on caffeine and don't sleep!  Wait and see what happens this week!  any chance of an extension, Darrell???  :)

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